>> Market Update

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "I, Joan Crawford, I believe in the dollar. Everything I earn, I spend." --Joan Crawford, American film and television actress

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE ... More Americans appear to be spending some of what they earn on real estate. In June, Existing Home Sales grew to a 5.57 unit annual rate, a nine-year high, and 3% up from a year ago. This was the fourth month in a row sales went up, showing continued strength. Even better, the share of first-time buyers hit its highest level in four years, an important development for the market. Supply, however, is still tight, with inventories down 5.8% from a year ago, making demand so strong that 48% of homes sold in less than a month. This pushed up the

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COMMENTARY:As anticipated, US economic reports this week provided little data to move the needle on mortgage interest rates one way or another.  What did happen however is that capital continues to pour into U.S. credit markets from global investors and sovereign wealth funds looking for a safe place to park their money.   As long as this condition persists, the threat of significantly higher mortgage interest rates developing anytime in the foreseeable future remains benign.

Looking ahead to the coming week, the Fed will meet in a two-day session that will conclude at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday with the release of the committee’s post meeting statement.  The  Chicago Mercantile’s Fed Watch tool is assigning a 98% probability that the Fed will choose to

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>> Market Update 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "All I ask is the chance to prove that money can't make me happy." --Spike Milligan, Irish comedian

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE ... While we wait for the riches to roll in, we can meanwhile find a measure of happiness in things like Freddie Mac's monthly Outlook for July. This report tells us that  the U.K.'s 'Brexit' vote to leave the European Union, plus slowing economic growth in China, played big roles in in moving mortgage rates down in the U.S. "The turbulence abroad should continue to create demand for U.S. Treasuries and keep mortgage rates near historic lows," according to Freddie Mac's chief economist. He says this will allow "home sales to have their best year in a decade, along with a boost in

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COMMENTARY:In a bounce-back move, mortgage interest rates shifted a bit higher this week as upbeat US economic news fueled a surging rally in the stock markets. This created a bit of selling pressure for Treasury debt obligations and agency eligible mortgage-backed securities.  Remember the axiom… bond prices are inversely proportional to rates so as prices go down, rates go up!

The Commerce Department reported this morning sales at U.S. retailers rose a solid 0.6% to mark the third-straight month of strong performance in this measure of economic health. In a separate report the Labor Department showed headline inflation at the consumer level expanded by 0.2% for the fourth consecutive month.  Excluding food and energy costs, the so called “core” rate

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>> Market Update 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "Include me out." --Samuel Goldwyn, American film producer

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE ... A couple of weeks ago, the majority of British voters echoed the movie mogul's famous malapropism in their message to the European Union. After this Brexit (British exit) vote, we've seen dramatic ups and downs in the financial markets, but the economic sky has not fallen as was predicted by Chicken Littles here and in the U.K. For us more sanguine types toiling in the housing field, there's even been a wonderful fallout. National average mortgage rates have dropped post-Brexit, and analysts expect them to head even lower. This is due to investors sprinting to the safety of Treasuries and mortgage bonds, driving

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>> Market Update 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "Find something in life that you love doing. If you make a lot of money, that's a bonus, and if you don't, you still won't hate going to work." --Jeff Foxworthy, American comedian, actor and author

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... We never hate going to work, but that doesn't mean we always love what we find there. Last week we found May Pending Home Sales falling 3.7% below April's reading for this index of contracts signed on existing homes. Nonetheless, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said May still logged the third highest level for the index in the past year. Their chief economist explained, "With demand holding firm this spring and homes selling even faster than a year ago, the notable

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COMMENTARY: Mortgage interest rates drifted lower this week supported by the global “flight-to-quality” ripple effects from last week’s British referendum vote to leave the European Union.  Those shock waves are starting to diminish a bit – but are expected to influence the trend trajectory of mortgage interest rates for another couple of weeks.

Looking ahead to the coming holiday shortened week there is nothing of much significance in terms of economic data scheduled for release until Friday – when the Labor Department will release their June nonfarm payroll figures. The current consensus estimate among economists is calling for a 140,000+ gain in the headline payroll number and a slight uptick in the national jobless rate to 4.8% from the current

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>> Market Update 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "I was a peripheral visionary. I could see the future, but only way off to the side." --Steven Wright, American comedian

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE ... With economic data, we actually look backwards to form a vision of what lies ahead. In May, Existing Home Sales grew 1.8% to a solid 5.53 million unit annual rate, their highest sales pace in more than nine years. Many see demand building in the future, based on that strength last month. Homes typically were on the market only 32 days, the shortest duration since the National Association of Realtors started tracking that data back in 2011. Even better, 49% of existing homes sold in less than a month. This level of demand helped send the median price 4.7%

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COMMENTARY: As I am sure you are keenly aware by now – Britain has decided to leave the European Union – a bloc it’s been a member of since 1973.  The uncertainty created by this unprecedented event has sent markets of every description around the world reeling – as the first knee-jerk reaction among the investment community is to flee risky asset classes like stocks for the comparative safety of U.S. dollar denominated assets like Treasury debt obligations and mortgage-backed securities – at least temporarily.  The news media will be touting a major sell-off in the stock markets and creating whatever equally scary sub-titles they can think of to sell papers and keep viewers’ attention during the 15-minutes between commercials.

By this time on a day

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>> Market Update 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "I have enough money to last me the rest of my life unless I buy something." --Jackie Mason, American comedian

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE ... Money was a big topic last week, as the Fed meeting dialed up discussions about the cost of money--in other words, interest rates. As far as mortgage rates are concerned, Freddie Mac's chief economist had this to offer: "Wednesday's Fed decision to once again stand pat on rates, as well as growing anticipation of the U.K.'s upcoming European Union referendum will make it difficult rates to substantially rise in the upcoming weeks." It seems the window of opportunity to take advantage of today's low mortgage rates should stay open a little bit longer

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